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Morning Report

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

May 23, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW


Olympics Bound: CBS will add to its Olympics coverage by broadcasting "The Late Show With David Letterman" directly from the XVII Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, for one week next February. "We feel the only way to surpass the classic performance of Dave's mother in Lillehammer [who reported from there during the last Winter Olympics] is to send Dave himself this time," CBS Entertainment President Les Moonves said Thursday. The trip will be the second international stop for "The Late Show," which broadcast a week of programs from London in May 1995.

Thanks, Rosie, Tiger, Et Al: Thanks in part to this week's guest appearance by rival host Rosie O'Donnell--plus the much-trumpeted appearances by Ellen DeGeneres and girlfriend Anne Heche, as well as golfer Tiger Woods--"The Oprah Winfrey Show" boasted its best May sweeps ratings in four years. Winfrey drew an average 24% share of TV viewing households, while "The Rosie O'Donnell Show"--which was arguably hurt by O'Donnell's own appearance on Winfrey's show this week--drew an average 17% household share. (See local ratings, F29.)


'Jurassic' Sales: Today's theatrical opening of "The Lost World" has brought renewed interest to Steven Spielberg's original dino tale, "Jurassic Park." The "Jurassic" video, which was released in October 1994 has once again chewed up the competition, rising to No. 2 on this week's VideoScan sales chart. Only two weeks ago, it ranked 74th, rising to No. 21 last week.


Changing of the Guard: In a surprise move that has stunned the art world, John R. "Jack" Lane, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since 1987, has abruptly announced his resignation from the post, effective Sept. 1. Explaining that he had completed all his objectives for the museum, Lane offered no indication of future plans. Lane, 53, had presided over a decade of extraordinary growth at the museum, which during his tenure successfully completed a $95-million capital campaign, built a critically admired new building, and saw attendance quadruple and membership triple. The expansion was widely seen as San Francisco's vigorous response to the burgeoning institutional art scene in Los Angeles in the 1980s.


Let the Plays Begin: Britain's Globe Theater--reconstructed to resemble the simple wooden playhouse that was home to Shakespeare's plays 400 years ago--officially opened Thursday, albeit with drilling workmen still scurrying about to finish the job. "This is our best guess about what Shakespeare's Globe was like," artistic director Mark Rylance told reporters. "It has been built in the same manner and form." "Henry V" will be staged next Tuesday, with standing room going for only a penny, in a nod to the Elizabethan days. The new Globe, the brainchild of the late American actor-director Sam Wanamaker, sits on the south bank of the Thames opposite St. Paul's Cathedral. The round playhouse is open to the elements and the audience must either stand, meander or sit on wooden benches. Despite the official opening, work is scheduled to continue on the $49-million project through September 1999--the 400th anniversary of the first recorded performance at the Globe.


Case Closed: The Spin Doctors have agreed to an undisclosed settlement amount from Miller Brewing Co., which a Los Angeles jury on Tuesday found liable for copyright infringement for using a song "substantially similar" to the group's hit "Two Princes" in a 1995 beer commercial. The settlement precluded the need for a damages phase of the trial. In a statement, the band said the verdict serves as "a warning to the advertising community that they can't take advantage of musicians and their music anymore for their own commercial gain. This verdict will protect musicians for centuries to come." An attorney for the beer company declined comment.


Despite an earlier commitment for next season, ABC said Thursday that "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," which has seen its ratings slide in recent weeks, is officially canceled. The network paid producer Warner Bros. an undisclosed sum to get out of the prior commitment. . . . Kathie Lee Gifford--in the headlines recently because of tabloid pictures claiming to show her sportscaster husband, Frank Gifford, embracing a woman in a hotel room--has signed a new contract to keep her syndicated morning show, "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee," on the air until September 1998. . . . Three shows will make up the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center's second "Broadway by the Beach" series: "Stomp" (Nov. 11-16), "Grease" (Jan. 6-11) and "Annie" (April 21-26). . . . Muralist Judith F. Baca and actress Liz Torres ("The John Larroquette Show") were honored Thursday for making "outstanding contributions to Hispanic arts in America" when they received the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts' El Angel awards at the Biltmore Hotel.

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